Getting The Next Generation Excited About Cooking

By Dr. Ong Jin Teong

December 2023 FEATURE
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I HAVE A tugging fear that our culinary heritage might be slipping away. Food tastes are strongly influenced by a mother’s and grandmother’s cooking, and over time, this preferential dynamic, when passed from one generation to the next, contributes to the preservation of Penang’s traditional cuisine, be it hawker or Nyonya fare.But what happens when a mother who cannot cook becomes a grandmother? What culinary heritage is there to pass down to the next generation?In my school days, a significant...

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Dr. Ong Jin Teong

is the author of two award-winning books —Nonya Heritage Kitchen: Origins, Utensils, Recipes and Penang Heritage Food: Yesterday’s Recipes for Today’s Cook. Following his retirement as a Nanyang Technological University’s College of Engineering professor, he lectures, conducts classes, writes books and articles on Nyonya cooking and food heritage, and runs the occasional supper club.